Shanoff's Wake-Up Call: ND Keeps Weis, Really?

Today's Calls: Charlie Weis vs. Notre Dame, Plaxico Burress vs. the StarCaps Six, Sean Avery vs. Elisha Cuthbert, Lakers vs. Pacers, Steve Nash vs. Chauncey Billups, Duke vs. Purdue, Brian Kelly vs. Chip Kelly, UFL vs. Mike Vick and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: Wow, Notre Dame isn't firing Charlie Weis? ↵

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↵Looks like America's worst college football coach will keep his job for another season. We went from "Weistric-Bypass Surgery" to "Weis II: Second Helping." ↵

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↵Yeah! Um ... he just needs another season to develop his program! Woo? ↵

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↵It's not like he hasn't earned his ouster. If he looked like Tyrone Willingham -- sorry, if his record looked like Tyrone Willingham -- Weis would have been ejected already. We all know that. ↵

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↵Maybe Notre Dame was nervous about that $6 gajillion buyout, the product of the dumbest deal in the history of coaching contracts. ↵

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↵They couldn't possibly have been concerned with a backlash about firing him; it's hard to find anyone who supports Weis anymore. ↵

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↵If anything, they need to be prepared for the backlash that comes with keeping him. Because they'll get it today. In a season of massive disappointment for Irish fans -- two seasons of them, actually, each week seemingly setting a new low -- this might be the worst let-down yet. ↵

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↵On the plus side, Notre Dame haters can breathe easy, knowing that Weis will be bumbling around the sidelines for at least another year. If you like seeing Notre Dame struggle, this is the best kind of news. ↵

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↵Suspension Mania! ↵

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↵Plaxico Burress! His season is over. The NFL suspended him the final 4 games of the season, and the team put him on the "reserve non-football injury list," which means that he couldn't play in the playoffs even if he was healthy. His Giants career is over. Is his NFL career over, too? (Doubt it.) ↵

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↵StarCaps Six! Four games each, so their regular seasons are over. They are appealing. All claim some sort of innocence in using a weight-loss diuretic, even though it doubled as a masking agent for steroids. Steroids in the NFL? Say it ain't so! (Mike Florio has a must-read.) ↵

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↵Sean Avery! Suspended indefinitely. You know what is "sloppy?" Indulging the NHL's (heavily) self-styled "bad boy" by giving him any attention for his comments about Elisha Cuthbert, who is dating Dion Phaneuf. Odd: You would think a former Vogue intern would be less of a misogynist. ↵

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↵(Here's the YouTube clip, so the moment can be preserved forever. Three Must-Reads: From Eric McErlain, Craig Custance and from Greg Wyshynski.) ↵

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↵NBA Instant History: It is big news when the Lakers lose, especially when they lose on the road for the first time this season. It is bigger news when they give up a 16-point lead in the 4th quarter to a sub-.500 Pacers team. ↵

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↵Blazers roll through New York for their 5th straight W: I checked in on this game and as I watched Chris Duhon rack up 23 points and 13 assists (he is averaging 11.6 ppg and 8.5 apg), I realized that Steve Nash was a "system QB," less MVP than the NBA's equivalent of Graham Harrell, a great player to be sure, but a product of a scheme. ↵

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↵Speaking of MVPs, how about Chauncey Billups for NBA Quarter-Season MVP? His 24 pts and 14 assts (1 turnover) last night led the Nuggets to a 39-point win over the Raptors and tied a franchise record with 13 wins in the first 19 games of the season. ↵

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↵CBB Last Night: Duke crushes Purdue on the road. I thought Purdue was a pretty good team -- perhaps the best team in the Big Ten. And the Blue Devils just smoked them, using a nasty D that could be a more menacing program signature than pasty hateable jump-shooters. (We kid 'cause we love, Jon Scheyer! DeCourcy calls you the "new Grant Hill!") ↵

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↵CFB Coaching Carousel: ↵

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↵Brian Kelly staying at Cincinnati? Really? Well, that certainly says something about the available jobs this winter, including Notre Dame. (Either that, or it's a signal to Notre Dame that he'll wait for them to have Weistric-Bypass Surgery.) ↵

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↵Jim Mora to Washington? He has always said that it is his dream job. The once-proud program needs a true believer like that, who will bleed purple and bark loudly. He'll need 4 years minimum to recruit his way to legitimacy, but he would get them there. ↵

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↵Another "coach-in-waiting": Chip Kelly at Oregon, who will take over whenever Mike Bellotti moves up to AD, which could come as soon as next month. Kelly was a hot commodity, one of the Top 3 offensive coordinators in college football. ↵

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↵(Hey, maybe that's how Notre Dame could handle it: Just name someone else "coach-in-waiting" under Charlie Weis ... then fire Weis now, rather than later. No one ever said how long the "wait" had to be.) ↵

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↵MLB Hot Stove: Javier Vazquez to the Braves. Seemingly shut out of the Jake Peavy sweepstakes, Atlanta needed to bring in an innings-eating starter. Vazquez qualifies: He is reliable for 200-plus IP per season and last year's 4.67 ERA should improve with a move to the NL. ↵

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↵Uniform U.: USC will wear its home cardinal jerseys despite playing on the road against UCLA. For this, they will give up a timeout after the opening kickoff, which seems eminently reasonable given that they are a 32-point favorite. Love this. ↵

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↵The Last Word: The United Football League wants Michael Vick, and that's a smart marketing ploy. No one wants to see minor-league pro football featuring no-names and scrubs not good enough to make NFL rosters. ↵

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↵That's why the UFL -- or any would-be football minor-league start-up -- should go where the NFL is unwilling to go: Allowing in younger college players the NFL excludes. (Yeah, like Julio Jones isn't NFL-ready right now.) Get more details on my plan here. ↵

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↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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